14 Uplifting Read-Alouds for Tough Testing Days

Motivate and de-stress!

Sponsored By Apperson

Testing season can be stressful for students and their teachers! We asked teachers for their favorite positive, motivational, stress-reducing, hard-work-encouraging and just plain fun read-alouds for those bubble-test kinds of days. Here are 14 favorites.

1 - Awesome Book
1. An Awesome Book! by Dallas Clayton

“This is just a really fun and colorful book about dreaming big for your life. Every, year I read it with my students and do our own drawings and words about what we wish for in life. It helps get us motivated.”


2 - Sally Jean
2. Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen by Cari Best

“I love reading Sally Jean to my students. Sally is joyous and adventurous, but more that that, she’s a problem solver. When she can’t afford a new bike, she earns money teaching bicycle repair to buy parts and build a new one! We talk about self-confidence and creative problem-solving as a class.”


3 - Worried
3. Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes

“One book I read every year is Wemberly Worried. Wemberly worries about absolutely everything and learns to let go a little. It’s perfect for my students who get nervous about taking standardized tests. I try to de-emphasize them as much as I can.”


4 - Last to Finish
4. Last to Finish: A Story About the Smartest Boy in Math Class by Barbara Esham

“I really recommend this book. It’s a great introduction to classroom conversations about how everyone learns differently. It also gets at test anxiety in a light and fun way. It’s from a series called The Adventures of Everyday Geniuses. Every teacher should have it!”


5 - Wilma Unlimited
5. Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman by Kathleen Krull

“My second graders loved learning about Wilma Rudolph and all she had to overcome to become a world-class athlete. She became a touchstone for talking about putting out your best effort and doing your best work for my class.”


6 - Zero
6. Zero by Kathryn Otoshi

“This is a great read-aloud for talking about self-esteem. Poor Zero has a whole in the middle and doesn’t feel she has value like the other numbers. My first graders totally got the message about being positive about themselves. I also love her book One.


7 - Oops
7. Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg

“This is an awesome book to use with kids who are perfectionists. It can help teach that mistakes are no big deal and can even be beautiful with a little imagination.”


8 - Never Made Mistakes
8. The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Gary Rubinstein

“This is one of my favorites during testing season—just in case things don’t go exactly as planned. An important read for all children, especially those who put a lot of pressure on themselves to be perfect in all things! It’s how you handle missteps that’s important!”


9 - Perfect Square
9. Perfect Square by Michael Hall

“As a school counselor, I love to look at a new book and find the secret little biblio-therapy message in it. Perfect Square is AWESOME with its messages of optimism and self-esteem. If something gets you down, you can turn it around. You can make lemonade out of lemons! This really feels like an empowerment story.”


10 - Magnificient
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

“This is precisely the kind of book that I love reading to my fourth graders. It is the anti-perfection picture book! The one that dares to suggest that maybe a little trial and error is necessary when trying to get something right.”


11 - Oomph
11. A Little Bit of Oomph! by Barney Saltzberg

“This is one of those books that inspires you for its beauty, sweetness and the feeling that you can try anything. It teaches children (and adults) to open their minds to possibilities. My third graders adore it!”


12 - You Be You
12. You Be You by Linda Kranz

“I purchased this book to read to my first and second graders as part of our new social-emotional learning standards. We just love this book! It is so upbeat and positive and just plain wonderful. The message of self-worth and valuing uniqueness in individuals is powerful. This is a fantastic book to read to your kids over and over.”


13 - Testing
13. Testing Miss Malarkey by Judy Finchler

“This is a wonderful, fun story to ease kids’ minds about big tests. I was introduced to it by our school counselor, who reads it to students to ease test anxiety. I read it to my fifth graders every year, and they love it.”


14 - Society
14. The Anti-Test Anxiety Society by Julia Cook

“Perfect for my third graders who are nervous about taking state tests for the first time … I used this book for a read-aloud during my second test prep lesson, which was focused on stress/anxiety reduction.”

14-Read Alouds